That’ll cost you extra

That one guy who always comments on Kel’s blog.

That one guy who always comments on Kel’s blog.

I’m pretty skeptical about newspaper pay walls on the Internet. But one Massachusetts media outfit has the right idea: The Sun Chronicle will now charge its readers to make comments on stories.

Not a lot of dough, just a one-time fee of 99 cents, on your credit card. But that means you have to give the paper your real name, and the Sun is betting that lack of anonymity will make commenters a bit more civil.

Comment moderation is time-consuming and difficult. There’s a fine line between thoughtful curation and ham-handed censorship. Sort of.

With a few tweaks, the Sun model could do wonders. I propose charging commenters for both quantity and quality of comments, and letting the market do the rest.

Throwing in your two cents on a story or blog post will cost you, well, two cents.

But it’ll cost you 25 cents for every word in ALL CAPS, and 50 cents every time you use the word “Climategate,” “liberal” or “illegal.”

It’s not that I want to censor this type of comment from our website. Heavens no. It’s just that we’re up to our eyeballs in that crap, and really need to incentivize something more original.

Green-collar economy good for mayor’s business

After all the media hype leading up to the big Van Jones speech in Sacramento, it seems like the only media outlet in town to actually cover the event was the Sacramento Press.

The S.P.’s piece about the event, part of Mayor Kevin Johnson’s Greenwise initiative, was not as gushy as it could have been.

A couple of things did jump out at me. First, someone should talk to the mayor about trying to brand Sacramento as the “Emerald Valley.” It’s so weird and hobbity that it makes my teeth hurt.

Next, why did the mayor bother to form so many policy committees—including teams on energy, waste and recycling, water and nature, urban design and green building—only to completely leave out transportation?

Then there’s this disturbing passage from the Sac Press piece: “Jones wrote ‘The Green Collar Economy.’ Copies of the book were being sold by Underground Books in the lobby of the Byron Sher auditorium in the Cal/EPA headquarters where the meeting was held.”

But, that can’t be right. Doesn’t the mayor’s mom run Underground Books? Surely Johnson wouldn’t use the occasion to drum up business for his signature 40 Acres project, would he? That would be crass …

Compiled from Snog.